ASHLAND — When Mike Glascock’s wife, Callie Glascock, learned recently that he would have to wait over a month to see a doctor in Columbia, she got her husband in to see physician Luke Stephens at the new MU Family Medicine clinic on Monday, its opening day.
The clinic, just two miles from Glascock’s home in Hartsburg, is the second to open in the southern Boone County town of 3,800 people. The other is operated by the county-owned Boone Hospital Center.
MU Health Care officials, Ashland officials and others gathered Monday afternoon to celebrate the opening of the new clinic at 101 Redtail Drive, Suite C.
Glascock didn’t attend the celebration, but was down the street visiting with companions at Woody’s Pub and Grub.
Glascock, director of MU’s Middlebush Farm, which trains veterinary students, is thrilled the new clinic opened.
“This works better with my insurance,” Glascock said.
“My fear is that it’s going to get too busy,” he said. “That was the problem with that clinic here, you couldn’t get in. I’m happy to see another place opened up.”
The MU clinic will offer a variety of services such as acute care, preventative care, pediatrics and geriatrics. The project took about six months to complete, and, prior to construction, there was nothing occupying the lot, Bauer said.
Stephens, along with a nurse practitioner, a licensed practical nurse and a patient service representative, will run the Ashland facility, according to a news release from University of Missouri Health Care.
Stephens said in the news release that he’s “excited to be back in Missouri.”
“I grew up on a farm south of the Lake of the Ozarks in Stoutland, and received my master’s degree in public health and my medical training from MU. This feels like I’m home. It’s a privilege to be able to serve my community by providing quality, accessible primary care,” Stephens said in the release.
After a two-year stint in Chicago working in sports medicine combined with the experience of years working in rural environments, Stephens maintains there are differences in practicing medicine between urban and rural environments. He cited research showing that patients in rural environments typically have more diseases than those living in cities.
People in rural environments also are stubborn and possess an “if I don’t go to the doctor I won’t get sick” mentality, Stephens said in an interview. He said that’s why an integral part of family medicine in rural environments is forging lasting relationships between medical professionals and the patients they serve.
Glascock said he was pleased with his experience at the clinic, calling Stephens a “super nice” doctor.
Sue Runyon, a nurse practitioner who has been with the University Health Care for more than 38 years, lives just five miles west of Ashland. She said it will be an advantage to work in a community she’s familiar with.
“That’s a real win for me in this type of clinic is to be able to have established relationships with people,” Runyon said. “You know their history, you know some of the families, you can provide a different kind of care where they don’t have to go through everything every time.
“When you meet someone new, you don’t know their medical history, you don’t know their circumstances. If that’s already established, it can just flows very nice,” she said.
Back at Woody’s, Bruce Bauer, the landlord and owner of the Redtail Professional Building that houses the clinic, ate lunch at the table next to Glascock’s. He said the clinic project took about six months to complete.
Bauer was short and sweet when explaining how he got lucky enough to work with MU on the building.
“It was just good timing.”